5 reasons why Real Madrid must get rid of Carlo Ancelotti before the 2022/23 Season

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

After a humiliating 4-0 loss in El Clasico at the Bernabeu on Sunday night, Carlo Ancelotti is on the hot seat. Overall, most would say it has been a successful season for Ancelotti and Real Madrid.

With Madrid nine points clear at the top of the table in La Liga, in the Champions League quarter-finals after a thrilling comeback vs PSG in the Round of 16, and Supercup champions, there have been plenty of successes for Ancelotti’s side this year. But this Clasico loss is not just humiliating. It is indicative of structural problems with the side that make the success of this season unsustainable going forward.

Here are five reasons why Real Madrid must get rid of Ancelotti before the next season begins.

1.    Real Madrid lack an identity

Since coming in, Carlo Ancelotti has failed to implement a clear style of play on the team. In most big matches, in both Clasico wins earlier in the season for example, Ancelotti has set the side up to defend well and play on the counter. After this Clasico loss, it is clear to see that identity has faded. The defense was abysmal. Militao was out of position constantly, Camavinga and Casemiro were dropping back and playing center back out of sheer necessity in the second half, and the press was non-existent with Modric and Kroos attempting to spearhead it.

At times, all it took was a simple pass from Pique or Eric Garcia to break the whole press. The defense has been solid at times this season. But the reality is, La Liga Player of the Month Thibaut Courtois has masked a lot of defensive issues throughout the season.

After Benzema, most would say Courtois has been Real Madrid’s most impactful player. Madrid certainly is not a possession-based side either, as they often look uncomfortable in games where they have the majority of the possession. There is often a lack of chances being created, and they rely on Benzema, Vinicius, or Modric to provide a moment of brilliance.

2.     Over-reliance on Karim Benzema

This lack of identity has led to an overreliance on key players. Especially Karim Benzema. Without him, the attack is simply toothless. Even when Vinicius was able to get past Ronald Araujo last night, he was found himself alone in the box. Without Benzema, there was no alternative to get players into the box in dangerous positions.

You could literally see the hole left by Benzema, by way of the empty space in Barcelona’s box. Look at the elite sides in Europe. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern, and Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea consistently create chances despite key players missing.

The same cannot be said about Ancelotti’s Madrid. When Benzema is not in the side or playing not completely fit (like against PSG in the first leg), Madrid create hardly any chances, registering just 4 shots on goal against Barcelona on Sunday night, and 0 against PSG in the first leg.

3.     Ancelotti’s refusal, or inability, to trust and develop young players

Carlo Ancelotti has shown throughout the season that he is not interested in developing young players. Despite Camavinga playing brilliantly in the second leg vs PSG, Ancelotti still starts the Kroos, Casemiro, Modric midfield vs Mallorca when we are 10 points clear in La Liga.

Other young players that showed promise last season like Miguel and Blanco have been cast aside. Despite a lack of depth in their positions (left back and defensive midfield). Developing young players is important for any club, Madrid is no exception. La Fabrica consistently produces great talents. If we do not have a manager who trusts and develops these talents, it will undoubtedly hurt the club in the long term.

4.     Inability to adapt

Ancelotti has shown an inability to adapt throughout the season. The lack of identity and overreliance on Benzema play into this. Ancelotti has not shown an ability to be successful with any other front three than Vinicius-Benzema-Asensio (and sometimes Rodrygo).

Next season, Real Madrid will more than likely have Kylian Mbappe added to the squad. Is Ancelotti the right man to integrate him into the squad? With Vinicius thriving in Mbappe’s preferred position of left wing, the fit is not very natural. Getting it to work will require experimenting with different formations and lineups. Something Ancelotti has done very little of this season. Real Madrid may want a manager who is more adept at tactical problem-solving to be able to integrate Mbappe next season.

5.     Ancelotti does not always get the most out of players

The consistent performers for Real Madrid throughout the season have been the usual suspects. Benzema, Vinicius, Modric, Courtois, etc. Ancelotti has not been able to get the most out of squad players. Madrid have lacked a consistent third piece to round out the attack with Benzema and Vinicius. Asensio and Rodrygo have not been consistent, and Hazard, Bale, Jovic, and Isco have been irrelevant this season. It is not completely Ancelotti’s fault of course, but it is up to the manager to find solutions for struggling players.

Ancelotti has consistently relied on the old guard to solve his problems, rather than solving problems for out-of-form players by putting them in a position to succeed. He has often put struggling players in a nad position. For example, he tasked Carvajal with defending Mbappe 1v1 against PSG in the first leg despite him coming off an injury and constantly getting burned by Mbappe.

Next. The 5 players Real Madrid should have never sold. dark

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In El Clasico on Sunday night, he asked Modric to play as a false 9, something out of his comfort zone that took him away from the area where he has the biggest impact (midfield). Over a long season, it is important to be able to get the most out of the squad, and Ancelotti has not done a great job of that thus far.